Two doormen of a midtown Manhattan, New York apartment building who closed the door while an Asian American was being attacked have been fired. The New York Times reported that the building’s owner, the Brodsky Organization, determined the lobby staff members did not follow proper procedure while the woman was being attacked.
“For this reason, their employment has been terminated, effective immediately,” Rick Mason, the executive director of management of the Brodsky Organization, reportedly wrote in an email to residents.
Last Monday (March 29), 65-year-old Vilma Kari was walking along a street near Times Square, NYC, when a man, identified by authorities as Brandon Elliot, kicked and punched her to the ground in broad daylight. Security camera footage captures the attack and the actions of the apartment lobby staff members, one of whom is seen closing the door to the apartment building.
Video of the attack went viral on social media, many amplifying demands to address and end the surge in hate crimes targeting people of Asian descent in the US.
The Times obtained a longer video of what took place, and reported that the lobby staff members left the building and helped Kari after about 60 seconds after one of them closed the door. In Mason’s email to residents, he also reported that the staffers waved down a police car. The attacker also lingered around the building after carrying out the attack, according to the longer footage obtained by The Times.
The outlet reported that the staff members’ union, 32BJ SEIU, said they’ll be filing grievances over their termination, but that could take several weeks or months to process.
“We believe we must root out systemic racism in all its forms,” Kyle Bragg, President of the Union, said in a statement. “We believe that all union workers, especially workers of color who are often the subject of unfair treatment on the job, have a right to a fair process as outlined in their contract,” Bragg added.
Authorities apprehended and arrested Elliot last week. The attack is being investigated as a hate crime.
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